- Population: 2,906,197
- Pop.density (people per km2): 107
Three principal communes
The ancient capital of Brittany, Rennes, is full of neo-classical and somewhat pompous major buildings. Enthusiasts of medieval architecture will find little to excite them here since much of Rennes was destroyed in 1720 by a major fire. It's a good place to seek employment opportunities as a great deal of development is happening in the fields of information technology, telecommunications, agro-industries, biotechnology, nutrition and the environment.
Set in a magnificent natural harbour, Brest had an important role in war times and more generally it's a place of trade. The French Atlantic Fleet is based here as its dry dock accommodates ships of up to 50,000 tonnes. During World War II it was constantly bombed to prevent Germany from using it as a submarine base. When it was liberated in 1944 the Americans arrived and found it destroyed. The postwar architecture is bleak and the town has little to offer to tourists.
This busy city is an industrial centre with few attractions for tourists but a good place for shopping if you live in the area. It is built in two deep valleys spanned by viaducts.